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Female Disruptors: How Chrysta Castañeda Has Shaken Up the Legal and Energy Industries

Chrysta Castañeda writing at a desk

Chrysta Castañeda

This content was originally published by Authority Magazine.

“The other best words of advice I got were from my mom. She said, ‘Always do your best.’ Admittedly, it’s pretty standard mom advice, but I truly took it to heart, and it’s been one of my defining characteristics, and the source of whatever success I’ve had. I confess, though, that it’s also a burden sometimes. Every once in awhile, it would be nice to be able to phone something in. But it’s just not in my DNA.”

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Chrysta Castañeda Named a ‘Trailblazer’ by National Law Journal

Chrysta Castañeda named to 2018 Texas Super Lawyers

Chrysta Castañeda

Chrysta Castañeda has been selected as a “Trailblazer” by The National Law Journal, citing her $146 million verdict on behalf of the late and notable T. Boone Pickens and his company, Mesa Petroleum Partners, her run for the Texas Railroad Commission, and her recent book, “The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens.”

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T. Boone Pickens and the “Red Bull”: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Case — and Client

The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens book coverThis content was originally published in Oilman Magazine.

In November 2016, a jury in Pecos, Texas, delivered a $146 million verdict on behalf of my client, Mesa Petroleum Partners, run by the legendary Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens.

It should have been the end of a hard-fought legal battle that had already taken too long and taken too much out of my then 88-year-old client. The jury unanimously found that the defendants in the case had breached their agreement to give Mesa rights to 15 percent of certain properties and wells in the Red Bull area of West Texas’ Reeves and Pecos counties.

But litigation almost never ends quickly, and this case was no exception. Read more

The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens: Q&A with Authors Chrysta Castañeda and Loren Steffy

Chrysta and Loren

Loren Steffy and Chrysta Castañeda

This content was originally published by The Texas Lawbook.

By Mark Curriden

There were few more colorful characters in the corporate world than T. Boone Pickens.

Chrysta Castañeda and Loren Steffy got to know him well – Castañeda as his lawyer representing him in a major trial in West Texas and Steffy as a long-time journalist who interviewed the oilman several times over three decades.

Steffy and Castañeda teamed up to publish a book about Pickens called The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens. The authors are hosting a virtual book launch party on Thursday, May 14, at 5 p.m. For more details about the book and the webcast/virtual book launch party, please visit http://lasttrialoftboonepickens.com/.

Below is a Q&A with the authors about Pickens, the trial and writing a book. Read more

The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens – The Best Three Minutes I’ve Ever Worked For Free

T. Boone Pickens and Chrysta CastañedaThis content was originally re-published by The Texas Lawbook.

(The following is an excerpt from The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens by Stoney Creek Publishing. Copyright 2020 Chrysta Castañeda and Loren Steffy.)

I took a deep breath as the elevator doors rolled open to reveal the lobby of the Best Western Swiss Chalet. I’d long since gotten over the irony of the name. The Swiss Chalet was located in the most un-Switzerland-like spot on earth. Pecos, Texas, sits on the eastern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, tucked under the arm of New Mexico, and its barren vistas, tumbleweeds, and blazing heat reinforce almost every Hollywood stereotype of Texas. Read more

T. Boone Pickens’ Trial Lawyer Releases Dramatic Account of His Final Court Battle

‘The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens’ recounts the story of Pickens’ $146 million verdict at age of 88Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens book cover

Chrysta Castañeda, the lead trial lawyer for T. Boone Pickens in his winning trial about an oil deal gone wrong, has written her first-person account of the final legal battle in his long and storied career.

The Last Trial of T. Boone Pickens (Texas A&M University Press, Feb. 2020) is a high-stakes courtroom drama told through the eyes of Castañeda. It’s the story of an American business legend still fighting in the twilight of his life, and the woman determined to help him make one final stand for justice. Read more

National Law Journal Names Chrysta Castañeda to 2018 Elite Trial Lawyers List

Chrysta Castañeda has been awarded The National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyers Award for 2018.

The Elite Trial Lawyers award recognizes exemplary performance in the courtroom, according to NLJ. The publication’s editors and reporters reviewed about 300 submissions across 23 categories to select the winners. Ms. Castañeda’s profile is available here (subscription required).

One of Ms. Castañeda’s most notable recent victories was a $146 million verdict on behalf of T. Boone Pickens and Mesa Petroleum, which was recognized as one of the largest in the nation in 2016 by NLJ and one of the largest in Texas by Texas Lawyer.

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Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Craig Enoch’s New Trial Tip – plus more!

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Craig Enoch

Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Craig Enoch

I was honored to have had the opportunity to work with former Texas Supreme Court Justice Craig Enoch recently on the Mesa Petroleum Partners case, which resulted in a $117 million judgment plus interest for our client, T. Boone Pickens.

I sat down with Justice Enoch to ask about his insights into trial and appellate practice based on his decades of experience as a trial judge, court of appeals chief justice, and Supreme Court justice – as well as an advocate at his own law firm. Not only did he share inside knowledge about how judges view cases, he gave me a tip about new trial motions that not many trial lawyers know.  Read more

Final Judgment Entered in Mesa Lawsuit Against Baytech, Delaware Basin Resources 

Chrysta Castañeda named to 2018 Texas Super Lawyers

Chrysta Castañeda

After a successful mandamus petition to Texas’ Eighth Court of Appeals, lawyers for Mesa Petroleum Partners and legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens are celebrating the entry of a final judgment of approximately $135 million against Baytech LLP and Delaware Basin Resources LLC, both of Midland, Texas.

Chrysta Castañeda, of Dallas’ The Castañeda Firm, served as lead trial counsel to Mesa and Pickens in the 2016 trial that resulted in the jury verdict against Baytech and DBR. Final judgment was issued on December 8, just before the deadline set by the El Paso-based Court of Appeals, which ordered the trial judge to enter judgment by December 9. Read more

Litigation Lessons from a Top-Flight Expert Witness

Author’s Note: On the one-year anniversary of our trial victory for T. Boone Pickens and Mesa Petroleum Partners, I am sharing an interview with one of our key expert witnesses, Ricardo (‘Rick”) Garza. Rick was an amazing person and loved to share his knowledge of petroleum engineering with lawyers and juries. I am very sad to report that Rick passed away on October 27, 2017. He will be terribly missed.Texas Bar Today

As any good trial lawyer knows, the success of your case is greatly affected by your team, including co-counsel, local counsel, paralegals, jury consultants and expert witnesses, among others. I have had the pleasure of working with Ricardo Garza, one of the best engineering expert witnesses you’ll find anywhere, most recently during a 3½ -week trial in the West Texas town of Pecos. Our team represented Mesa Petroleum Partners LP in the hotly contested case involving oil and gas investments. Read more